Richard Richards, Mayor of the tiny Jefferson County City of West Buechel since January, 2015, is responsible for a two million dollar City budget, but he’s having difficulty managing his own personal business.
According to public records available online from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office property tax search page, Mayor Richards is still delinquent for $4,300 in 2015 property taxes on eight parcels of land. All but one of these parcels are located within the City of West Buechel. Richard’s company, Century Lighting Services, Inc., owns three parcels of land in West Buechel, and Richards has not paid 2015 Jefferson County property tax on that real estate either.
If Richards has not paid his Jefferson County taxes, the obvious question is if he has paid his West Buechel property taxes. Kimberly Richards, who is Richard Richards’ ex-wife, has been serving as West Buechel’s City Clerk/Treasurer under Mayor Richards. An April 7, 2016 Open Records Request to Ms. Richards, to examine West Buechel’s property tax bills, has been ignored.
Kimberly Richards resides at the West Buechel property owned by Richards’ company, Century Lighting. Before becoming City Clerk/Treasurer, Ms. Richards was the bookkeeper/manager for Mayor Richards’ businesses. She continues to do that for Mayor Richards along side her work for West Buechel.
As City Clerk/Treasurer, Kim Richards is primarily responsible for collecting and accounting for all City taxes. Her work for Rick Richards personally involves paying his taxes.
It’s a sweet deal when the person who is both paying and collecting your taxes is also the official custodian of all the City tax records, and not shy about shamelessly denying access to those documents.
Mayor Richards is also the defendant in two recent civil lawsuits. Discover Bank v. Richards is a Jefferson Circuit Court debt collection action, case no. 15-CI-004873. Fox v. Richards is a District Court, case no. 16-C-003246, action alleging fraud in Richards’ handling tenant security deposits and also seeking penalties for Richards’ noncompliance with statutory requirements relating to City financial reports.
One of the more interesting aspects of these lawsuits is that West Buechel’s City Attorney, John Casey McCall, is also representing Richard Richards and Kimberly Richards personally.